Outlook is one of the most popular email clients, even now, and with good reason. It is powerful, and it is near ubiquitous in office environments, so most people still know how to use it. Even out of the box, it runs well, and it can scale to relatively large mailboxes and multiple accounts quite well.
However, it is far from a perfect application, and it does lack some features – but you can use add-ons to compensate for a lot of the problems and add features that you need for modern customer relationship management, group work, and general day to day use.
One great add-on is MXHero’s Save and Share. This utility is useful for sharing files into the cloud. Another great utility is GApps Sync. This is a useful way of synchronising everything that you’re used to between different environments – many offices have it set up so that employees can log into different machines and still get stuff like their schedule, meeting details, etc., without having to log into their GoToMeeting profiles.
Mail2Cloud Fusion is useful if you tend to send and receive a lot of large email attachments. It lets you store your attachments in the cloud and then access them from your mobile or desktop with ease.
Another area where you might want to use some email add-ons is for spam filtering. SpamBayes is a tool that uses sophisticated statistical analysis tools to figure out whether an email is spam or not.
Shareware, in the old-fashioned sense, is hard to find these days. The idea of apps that you can share and try for extended periods is long gone. However, most Outlook add-ins come with 30-day trials so that you can test them and see whether you like them before you hand over any money, and many come with limited free feature sets, and then let you pay extra to unlock more features.
Some apps, such as the Business Email Secretary, are only for business email accounts and won’t work with something like a free Gmail account because they tie into the server and require unique configuration.
Other apps are designed to be used by everyone. The Save and Share tool mentioned earlier, for example, has a free tier that can be used to save ten attachments per month, and you can pay extra for the ability to use it more extensively.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to pay for the capacity to save and store attachments and file them easily, then you should use the Attachment Save tool – which will remove attachments and put them on your hard drive for you. This lacks cloud features, but it’s still a handy tool because it offers a degree of organisation and security compared to just leaving attachments indefinitely on your mail server.
There are so many different calendars, spam filtering and social media add-ons for Outlook now. Some free, some premium, and some tiered with shareware style trials. Take a moment to experiment with them until you find the ones that suit your needs the best.